Monday, August 30, 2010

Taming the Heat

Do you love kitchen gadgets? I certainly do! Get me near a Sur La Table or Williams-Sonoma store, and I can do some seriously damage to my bank account. I don't know how I ever lived without my Microplane grater or my apple corer. Anything that will make meal prep quicker and easier is something I must have. At the top of my wish list right now are a tofu press and an industrial French fry cutter. You hear that, Santa?

I also love spicy foods: I can never get enough Thai, Indian, or Mexican food. But I don't love super hot foods. I know there are lots of people who really like it hot—the hotter the better. But I don't enjoy setting my taste buds on fire. I always deseed and devein hot peppers like jalapeños, habañeros, and Thai chile peppers before cooking them. Carefully removing and discarding the seeds as well as the white cross walls and veins, where the capsaicin is produced, is how you can tame the heat.

How often have I cut myself cleaning out the inside of a jalapeño, and how many times have I thought how tedious it is to do this job? (Quite often, actually. A knife in my hands is a disaster waiting to happen.) So what a stroke of serendipity that I should run into Joe Norris, the owner and inventor of the PepperShark, at the Eugene Celebration this past weekend!

This snappy little stainless-steel precision tool is designed to clean, deseed, and devein peppers.  It fits neatly in the palm of my hand, and with its smooth finish and razor-sharp loop fashioned at the tip, I was ready to try it out on this little green lovely:

I ran the tip around the inside of the pepper, and removed the inner flesh and most of the seeds in one swift stroke.

As you can see, the walls still remain. But this is where the PepperShark really earns its name.

Instead of having to use a knife to scrape or cut the white walls away, I simply ran the tip of the PepperShark over the remaining veins and in seconds was left with a perfectly clean jalapeño! What a neat little timesaver!

Next, I wanted to try the PepperShark on a bell pepper. I cut off the top, and what I'd usually do at this point is cut off the bottom, pull out the center part, cut the bell into segments around the veins, and then either cut or grate the veins to remove them.

But in this case, all I had to do was pull out the core, and slide the PepperShark over the veins to be left with a perfectly clean bell.

And now that I have these beautiful peppers ready to roll, I think I'll prepare some Black Bean, Corn, and Rice Burritos for dinner tonight. Oh wait, the recipe doesn't call for red bell. That's okay, I'm going to chop this one up and throw it in anyway. It will be all the more delicious!

Here's an exclusive offer just for my readers! Order your very own PepperShark today (did I mention that they're only ten bucks?), and Joe will throw in a free PepperShark as a bonus! That's buy one, get one free, (one for you and one for a friend!) if you leave a comment on this post, and then head on over to the PepperShark website and place your order today!  You'll want to place your order, then go to the contact page and mention my name or "Hungry Vegan" blog to get your free PepperShark. What a deal!

After you've received your nifty new PepperShark and have had a chance to play with it, I would love to hear how much you love it, and I know that Joe would, too!


Anonymous said...

I never knew I needed a PepperShark, but now I do! And I know the perfect person to give the other one to. Thanks so much for this review!

Deborah said...

Yes, I'm always getting the capsaicin all over my hands when I work with chile peppers, and then I rub my eye, and then, well, you know what happens! Ugh! This little tool is a brilliant invention. No more fiery eyes!

Anonymous said...

What a cool idea!

Anne-Marie said...

One can't have too many time-saving tools in the kitchen, and this certainly does look like a nifty little device. The burritos look delicious, too!

JL Goes Vegan said...

Love that pepper shark! Keep that tofuxpress on the top of your list. Game changer! (I won one on a blog giveaway)

Vegiegail said...

I'm envious, JL!

Anonymous said...

That really is quite a clever little device. It sounds perfect for making a big batch of salsa.

Shear Sensations said...

That's one cool gadget (pepper shark)...i must look for one of those...thanks.

Janet said...

Brilliant invention!

Joe Norris said...

Hello All:
Joe Norris here, the inventor of the PepperShark! I love eating hot peppers daily and their flavors are so nice and complex. Especially the exotics from the Caribbean. But sometimes the heat of peppers can hinder my enjoyment and eating pleasure. I searched and searched but couldn't find anything on the market that was efficient at cleaning the veins and seeds out. I needed a one-size fits all tool for me to be happy. Getting fried during food prep was also a problem. So with my sheet metal back ground I went to work on developing a stainless steel kitchen tool that everyone would benefit from. After securing my patent and some confidence I am now bringing my invention to you! The PepperShark really does belong in every cooks kitchen that uses peppers! I truly believe in it. I hope my invention will bring you enjoyment!

Thank you Gail for the wonderful review!

Joseph Norris
PepperShark Owner, Inventor

Vegiegail said...

Thank you, Joe, for creating this wonderful gadget! I agree that it belongs in every cook's kitchen. Thank you also for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and especially for your generous offer of a free PepperShark with every one purchased by my readers!

Jacklyn said...

haha you sound just like me! going to Williams Sonoma is like going to Disneyland : ]
I've been eying their pepper corer for awhile now, this one looks just as great! I hate when I touch a seed and then my whole finger is on fire. Must invest in one of these : ]

Joe Norris said...

Read the reviews about the W&S pepper corer. Some were disappointed because it left hot ribs in the bottom of the pepper, (small, tapered, curved etc.) This product is limited to a certain size pepper. Can't effectively do big, small, skinny, curved. The PepperShark does them all with precision accuracy. You are in charge now. Not trying to sell anything, just saying this is why the PepperShark was invented. If the W&S product worked, I would have been satisfied and bought it.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Oh, Gail, another gadget for my list!!

VeganVersion said...

I never knew I needed a pepper shark until right now! Thanks so much for the information. Going to order one right now!